Working in accounting management requires you to carefully manage a team of skilled employees. You’ll be responsible for coordinating scheduling and hours, coaching employees to improve their performance, and ensuring your team is poised to accomplish its overarching goals. That’s a lot of responsibility, especially when you have a set of individual tasks to achieve on your own every day.
Fortunately, the job gets easier when you have the right strategy in place.
How to Better Manage Accounting Employees
These tips can turn you into a better accounting manager:
1. Choose the right HR and payroll software
HR and payroll software for accountants can make or break your working efficiency. If the software is intuitive and easy to use, you won’t have to spend much time training, and you can accomplish all your needs in less time. If the software is functional and well-organized, you’ll always be able to find the information you need. And with good reporting and analysis, you can track productivity, recruiting success, and dozens of other metrics to help you find better candidates and manage them better.
2. Recruit the best candidates
The best employees functionally manage themselves. Bringing the right people onto your team will save you lots of work in the long run. Look for self-motivated, disciplined people who don’t need constant direction or leadership from external sources. Also look for good attitudes and optimistic mindsets; these are contagious and could positively impact the rest of your team.
3. Set both team and individual goals
If you want to get the most out of your team, make sure you set both team-level and individual-level goals. Team goals will encourage collaboration and get your employees to work together, while individual goals will focus on the strengths and weaknesses of individual members.
4. Be transparent
Transparency can help almost any team succeed. Maintaining a transparent organization will lead to increased trust, higher morale, and more openness – which is great for collecting more feedback. You can increase transparency by discussing your motivations and perspectives openly (and refusing to keep secrets from the team).
5. Address employee strengths and weaknesses
Don’t shy away from employee strengths and weaknesses; instead, focus on them. Some of the people on your team are going to excel in specific areas, so make sure they have plenty of opportunities to show off those strengths. Almost everyone is going to be weak in at least one area, so give them a chance to improve themselves (and let someone else tackle those responsibilities in the meantime).
6. Keep developing your own skills
Just because you’re in a leadership position doesn’t mean your growth and development have ended. It’s still important to continue growing in this position, both to set a good example for the team and to better serve the organization. Attend classes and workshops regularly to learn new skills and consider cross-training to better understand how this organization works.
7. Take breaks
Being a leader in the finance world can be exceedingly difficult. It’s easy to overwork yourself if you aren’t careful. The best way to avoid this is to take breaks consistently. Consider taking more breaks throughout the day, giving yourself a chance to destress and decompress. And at least once a year, take a long, relaxing vacation; you owe it to yourself to prevent burnout and reset your expectations.
8. Give feedback
Work on giving better feedback to all your employees. Pay attention to their habits and how they interact with the team. Then, provide recommendations for how to improve, and ample praise for all the things they’re already doing right. You don’t have to wait for an annual review to do this, either.
9. Collect feedback
Feedback works both ways. Make sure your employees have a chance to provide you with feedback as well. Are there areas of leadership they feel are lacking? Which of your tactics do they find most effective?
10. Pay close attention to your mistakes
Admitting mistakes is powerful. Correcting them for the future is even more powerful. No matter how effective you are as a manager, there will be times when you slip up, set a bad example, or do something incorrectly. Take note of these moments as learning opportunities and commit to preventing those mistakes in the future. Additionally, express your mistakes to the team – it will help build trust and rapport.
Finding Your Personal Approach
These strategic tips can help you become a better accounting manager overall, but there are many legitimate managing styles worth considering. For example, are you more of a hands-on manager, or someone who likes to trust employees to handle things themselves? Take your time and experiment to find the best managerial style for you.